Cello recordings

orbscure

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Despite what the link in my signature may suggest, I've always had a soft spot for the cello, but have struggled to find decent recorded music including this instrument. It always seems to me that the cello is too far back in the mix and drowned out by the rest of the instruments. 2Cello's certainly didn't do it for me, so what suggestions do you have, outside of the (the irreplaceable) Jacqueline du Pré, Natalie Klein, Yo Yo Ma or even Rena Jones? Solo or simple accompanied material would be preferred to full orchestrations...

I subscribe to CalmRadio and amongst their offerings, I have their dedicated cello and Yo Yo Ma channels saved, but as I rarely have either playing for long periods, when I do, I'm often disappointed with the variety and quality of what both plays...

Suggestions and recommendations gratefully received :)

 

JANDL100

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Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata is usually played with cello & piano. Wonderful stuff.

Britten's solo cello suites, if Britten is of interest.

Shostakovich cello sonata.

 

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batteredhaggis

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I've been enjoying a few recordings by American cellist Alisa Weilerstein recently. Sometimes she can be almost too forward in the mix - certainly never drowned out. Occasionally I find her playing a touch overblown - some moments in her recording of the Elgar concerto perhaps (with Barenboim, the first he has made since recording it with his wife) but it's still outstanding and most of the time I find her balance of phrasing, tone and musical intelligence very rewarding. 'Solo' is a good starting point - try to get the deluxe version which has some extra miniatures including a couple of lovely Ligeti pieces. The Kodaly sonata is astounding. Her Dvorak concerto recording with the Czech Phil is gorgeous. She's on Qobuz and Tidal, not sure about Spotify.

 

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orbscure

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Great stuff chaps, just the sort of suggestions I was looking for... keep'em coming ;-)

One recommendation from me, check out Wandering Soul by Peter Kuhlmann featuring Alban Gerhardt on cello. Its a bit repetitive at times, but it sums up the melancholy I generally associate with this instrument. It was a 5000 copy limited releas on CD in 1994, but it can also be found on iTunes, so samples are available to listen to...

 

JTW

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I've been enjoying a few recordings by American cellist Alisa Weilerstein recently. Sometimes she can be almost too forward in the mix - certainly never drowned out. Occasionally I find her playing a touch overblown - some moments in her recording of the Elgar concerto perhaps (with Barenboim, the first he has made since recording it with his wife) but it's still outstanding and most of the time I find her balance of phrasing, tone and musical intelligence very rewarding. 'Solo' is a good starting point - try to get the deluxe version which has some extra miniatures including a couple of lovely Ligeti pieces. The Kodaly sonata is astounding. Her Dvorak concerto recording with the Czech Phil is gorgeous. She's on Qobuz and Tidal, not sure about Spotify.
I love the Elgar / Carter CD and with Bruch's Kol Nidrei as well, highly recommended

 

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soileduk

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Try Leonard Elschenbroich, accompanied by Alexei Grynyuk, in the Prokofiev op. 119 sonata coupled with Kabalevsky's Cello Concerto No.2 with Andrew Litton and the Netherlands Phil. on Onyx 4122.

 

Liberdade

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Some good suggestions above, and here are some other ideas;

- Tan Dun's cello concerto, played by Yo Yo Ma - this is part of the music from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This is a bit different from what I would normally listen to, but I caught a live performance a couple of weeks ago, and thought it was pretty good.

- String quartets where the cello is particularly effective - suggestions from me would include Beethoven (op. 132, Heiligerdankgesang), Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet, Shostakovich's 8th quartet (the drone from the cello evoking the dread of war and air raids), and Bartok's 4th quartet (the third middle movement has the most plaintive cello solo, against a background of night music).

- some more contemporary composers' output may also be worth exploring, perhaps via youtube first to see if it's your kind of thing - for example, Brian Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study, Xenakis' Kottos, and James Dillon's Eos. All of these are amazing in performance as they stretch the limits of both instrument and performer.

 

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orbscure

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Really appreciate the additional pointers all... :)

On the back of TheMoons suggestion in post 6 (subsequently also suggested by Euan/ESK) and thanks to my Amazon Prime account, I'm sat here as I type listening to the 2-CD Pierre Fournier "Sechs Suiten fur Violoncelle solo BWV 1007-1012" [Polydor 1996] and this is very much the cello sound I've been searching for... perhaps a little busy in places, but it sounds quite superb on my system... I am working my way through all of the other suggestion posted thus far, so thanks again...

I also have a UK HDTracks account and when I put cello into the search box, it comes up with these 5 pages of result, so any recommendations amongst these titles would be very much appreciated too :)

 

JTW

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Some good suggestions above, and here are some other ideas;- Tan Dun's cello concerto, played by Yo Yo Ma - this is part of the music from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This is a bit different from what I would normally listen to, but I caught a live performance a couple of weeks ago, and thought it was pretty good.

.
Actually, never mind the cello go straight to the double bass! Tan Dun's Wolf concerto which I mentioned in the classical bLog Cabin thread. Well worth a listen it's on spotify and available as a download but not a cd.

 

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batteredhaggis

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Lindsay, what happened to your link? Goes to some 'sheet music plus' website now. Forgive my poor memory, did you not recommend an Isserlis disc?

Edit: No, that's weird, I re-read this thread and Lindsay's recommendation linked to a J.S.Bach sheet music order page, then when I refreshed the page it went back to the Janos Starker Bach Suites Amazon page (shows how crap my memory is). Anyone else get that link?

 

Andrei

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Try and get a hold of Franck's violin sonata transcribed for cello and piano. It is a lovely work and the version I have on LP performed by Du Pre and Barenboim does the work justice.

 

orbscure

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No, that's weird, I re-read this thread and Lindsay's recommendation linked to a J.S.Bach sheet music order page, then when I refreshed the page it went back to the Janos Starker Bach Suites Amazon page (shows how crap my memory is). Anyone else get that link?
I can't remember myself BH... the link has changed for me too, so hopefully somebody here can advise...

With my interest well and truely piqued by the Pierre Fournier "Bach Six Suites for Solo Cello", having listened to the snippets available on Amazon, I've just bought his "Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello and Piano" with Friedrich Guida via an eBay seller in Germany for £7.21 including free shipping...

Please continue to suggest away chaps... links to actual recordings are very much appreciated :)

 

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